Something unique took place in the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday that hasn’t happened since 1997.
When Michigan State cornerback Trae Waynes was selected No. 11 overall by the Minnesota Vikings and Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon was taken No. 15 by the San Diego Chargers, it marked just the fifth time since 1990 that high school teammates were drafted together in the opening round.
Waynes and Gordon starred on opposite sides of the ball at Bradford High School in Kenosha, Wis., home of Heisman Trophy winner Alan Ameche of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and former NBA All Star Nick Van Exel.
The Big Ten rivals are the first set of high school teammates to earn such a distinction since Texas cornerback Bryant Westbrook was drafted No. 5 overall by the Detroit Lions and Nebraska cornerback Michael Booker went No. 11 overall to the Atlanta Falcons. Westbrook and Booker played together at El Camino High School in Oceanside, Calif.
Luckily for the city of Kenosha, which is located eight hours southeast of Minnesota, the Chargers visit the Vikings this year in the third week of the season on Sept. 27.
The only time Michigan State and Wisconsin met on the football field while both players were eligible to take part was in 2012 when the Spartans won 16-13 in Madison, though neither played a role in that game.
San Diego will be at Green Bay to play the Packers on Oct. 18. The Vikings finish the season at Green Bay on Jan. 3.
Waynes and Gordon were the only high school players out of Wisconsin to be drafted Thursday.
The University of Washington led the way in the college ranks by having three players selected as Florida State, Oregon, Florida, USC, Clemson and Miami each accounted for two picks in the first round.